Varsity Boys’ Lacrosse ITP Tournament Champs

Bill Ainslie, Booster Club Contributor

The boy’s lacrosse team opened the 2012 season over the past weekend by hosting the 4th annual Inside the Perimeter tournament. The ITP opened on Friday with Riverwood taking a 15-10 victory over Holy Innocents’. Riverwood, the defending champion, eliminated Decatur last year in the first round. The Bulldogs were determined not to suffer a similar fate this year and led start to finish in defeating the Baylor Red Raiders 9-2 on Friday night. Baylor is a prestigious and beautiful private school in Chattanooga (think Westminster with mountains in the background), but the Red Raiders were no match for the hungry Bulldogs. The game was over for all intents and purposes after 5 minutes with the Bulldogs up 5-0. Decatur added to its lead in the 2nd quarter and took a 9-0 lead into halftime. The third quarter was scoreless as Decatur squandered a number of good opportunities. Baylor finally got on the board in the 4th and the final score was 9-2. Sophomore attackman Nick Bentley led the way with 3 goals. He was closely followed by fellow sophomore and close friend Deangelo Watkins who had 2 goals and 1 assist. Other scorers were Wes Berberick, Nathan Wilinski, Jonah Florence, and freshman Nate Scully who tallied his first ever varsity goal and added an assist. The offense was impressive, but the real story was the suffocating defense. Led by goalie Ben Rigger, the close defense of Davis Byrd, Sam Weitnauer, and Branford Frison shut down the Red Raider attack. At the midfield, Decatur long-stick middies — Jack Scully and Lang Rodgers — frustrated Baylor at every turn. Short stick defensive midfielders Britt Pendergrast and IV Dennard also played strong games. In fact IV was awarded the coveted hustle award (a beautiful tux jacket and felt hat to wear proudly until the next game) after the game. Everyone on the roster got into the game.

Less than 24 hours later the Bulldogs took the field again, this time seeking revenge against Riverwood. This contest started like a prize fight with the teams feeling each other out in the early going. The Bulldogs dominated time of possession and landed 3 goals before Riverwood could get on the board. Decatur took a 5-1 lead into the half and extended that lead to 8-1 going into the 4th. Things got a bit frantic in the 4th quarter as Riverwood scored twice to draw within 5 at 8-3, but Decatur answered quickly and pulled away again. The final score was 12-5. Decatur was led again by attackman Watkins who scored 3 goals. Junior Simeon Johnson and Bentley each had 2. Florence, Berberick, and Wilinski each had single tallies, but the big story was junior Jackson Newbury and freshman Sam Berg, each of whom recorded his first varsity goal. Despite the offensive outburst, the real story was again the defense. The Bulldog D was led by Branford Frison who absolutely owned Riverwood #9 who had torched Holy Innocents’ the night before. In fact, Frison played so well he was an easy choice to take the Swag (the jacket and hat) from IV. Goalie Ben Rigger was much busier on Saturday, but he was up to the task with 14 saves against 5 goals allowed and triggered the Decatur transition game with some beautiful outlet passes.

The proud Bulldogs will add a new piece of hardware to the DHS trophy case. Named to the all-tournament team were Watkins, Wilinski, Florence, Byrd, Frison and Rigger.